Today I was reading Susie's blog about how she surprised her nephew by 'decorating' his truck for his 18th birthday. That reminded me of a memory from my own son's childhood that I had not thought of for a while. ...But indeed a story that bears repeating!
It was my son Luke's July birthday. He was probably turning 12 or 13. Every day he had summer weight lifting about two blocks from our house and he would get up and ride his bike to attend then ride his bike home.
I was prepared. I had gone to Dollar General and Wal-Mart and bought crepe paper, a birthday banner, some poms for the handlebars, some balloons, some silly string and a few other gadgets.
I waited till I knew he had been gone long enough to actually be IN the weight-lifting building. Then I drove up to the school, parked in the alley, and prepared to decorate. His bike was right by the door, so I had to get it, sneak it to the side of the school and decorate. ...And decorate I did!!
I even wove the crepe paper throughout both wheels. I tied and taped and wove and covered. There was nothing left untouched. The "Happy Birthday" banner covered it from end to end on one side. Then to top it all off I sprayed it down with a can of silly string. Or two!
I put the bike back where it had been parked and went back home. My older son was at home, having returned from his own earlier weight-lifting session. He was half asleep on the couch and I proudly told him what I had done for Luke's birthday. My son sat straight up and was suddenly wide-awake. "You did WHAT???!!" he asked. I assumed he was mortified for Luke. I repeated what I had done. Then he said, "Mom. Luke didn't ride his bike to weight-lifting today. I took him."
OH MY GOSH!!!!
Then we did what any respectable parent and brother would do. We laughed uncontrollably. We laughed until our sides hurt. We laughed until our face hurt. We thought about Luke coming out and seeing the spectacle and knowing it was not his bike and we laughed some more.
We could not WAIT for Luke to get home so that we could get the low-down.
And the low-down was even better than we imagined!
Luke said when they came out of weight-lifting, he did indeed see the bike and knew immediately what I had done. Luke did not say a word about it being his birthday....since he knew that was not his bike.
Then, the kid-without-the-birthday-but-with-the-decorated-bike said, "Hey, someone vandalized my bike." Ha! After I had spent so much time and about $15, he said the word "vandalized"!!! We STILL laugh about that.
So when Luke came home and told us the story, we all started laughing and had another good belly-laugh. Then Luke told us that as the boy-without-the-birthday-but-with-the-decorated-bike rode away down the alley, he was tearing stuff off the bike as fast as he could. So Luke and I got in the car and went down the alley and picked up the birthday "trash" and salvaged what we could....and laughed and laughed and laughed!!
And, by the way, YES, Luke and the other boy did have the exact same bike. I wasn't completely crazy!!
(Bike images from the internet. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the bike I had so carefully decorated!)